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Title: Pen-y-ghent  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Yorkshire Three Peaks, Ingleborough, List of Marilyns in England, List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in North Yorkshire, Whernside
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


From the ascent from Horton
Elevation 694 m (2,277 ft)
Prominence c. 306 m
Parent peak Whernside
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall
Translation Hill on the border (Cumbric)
Pen-y-ghent is located in Yorkshire Dales
Location of Pen-y-ghent in Yorkshire Dales National Park
Location Yorkshire Dales, England
OS grid
Topo map OS Landranger 98

Pen-y-ghent or Penyghent is a fell in the Yorkshire Dales. It is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the other two being Ingleborough and Whernside. It lies some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of Horton in Ribblesdale. The Pennine Way links the summit to the village; the route is around 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in length as the Way curves initially to the north before turning east to reach the summit.

The more direct route that traverses the southern 'nose' of the hill is the route usually taken by those attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, as the walk is usually (but not exclusively) done in an anti-clockwise direction starting and finishing in Horton in Ribblesdale. The other main hillwalking route on the hill heads north from the summit to reach Plover Hill before descending to join the bridleway that is Foxup Road.

In the Cumbric language, exactly as in today's Welsh, Pen meant 'top' or 'head', and y is most likely the definite article (the), exactly as in Modern Welsh y. These elements are common in placenames throughout the island, and especially in Wales (compare Penyberth 'end of the hedge/copse', or Penyffordd 'head of the road/way', etc.). The element ghent is more obscure, however: it could be taken to be 'edge' or 'border'.[1] The name Pen-y-ghent could therefore mean 'Hill on the border'.[2] Alternatively, ghent could mean 'wind' or 'winds' – from the closest Welsh transliteration, gwynt ('wind'). Thus it might mean simply 'Head of the Winds'. It is also acceptable to write the name as Pen y Ghent rather than Pen-y-ghent.

A panoramic image of Pen-y-ghent viewed from the west, on the footpath from Horton in Ribblesdale, January 2012


  1. ^ (Bibby, p. 120)
  2. ^ (Ekwall)


  • Bibby, Andrew (2008), The Backbone of England, London: Francis Lincoln Limited
  • Ekwall, Eilert (1960), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names, 4th ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press

External links

  • Computer generated summit panoramas Pen-y-ghent index
  • Photos of Pen-y-ghent and surrounding area on
  • Climb Pen-y-ghent from Horton-in-Ribblesdale
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